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[News] Microsoft Uses Lies About Security to Ruin Compatibility

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Burning the binary ships

,----[ Quote ]
| The latest discussed advocacy scheme for OOXML: The old binary formats 
| implementations are insecure and attention to fix security flaws of 
| implementations is reduced.  



Legacy format FUD

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| From CyberTech Rambler (and Slashdot) comes the news that the Office 2003 
| Service Pack #3 disables (blocks) access to a number of legacy document 
| formats. Details are in this MS support article. Formats so blocked include 
| legacy Lotus 1-2-3 and Corel Quattro Pro formats. Why? According to the 
| Microsoft support article, "By default, these file formats are blocked 
| because they are less secure. They may pose a risk to you.".     
| [...]
| Now it may be entirely possible that these old import filters in Excel are 
| poorly written and poorly maintained and that Microsoft may be trying to 
| reduce the overall security exposure of MS Office by ditching old code that 
| is not strategic for them. But call it that. The MS Office code has the 
| problem. Don't malign the formats. Don't make up some untenable story that 
| DIF format is "less secure" and "may pose a risk for you".     


Office 2003 Service Pack Disables Older File Formats

,----[ Quote ]
| In Service Pack 3 for Office 2003, Microsoft disabled support for many older 
| file formats. If you have old Word, Excel, 1-2-3, Quattro, or Corel Draw 
| documents, watch out!   


Microsoft insults our intelligence on Virtualization security

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| Microsoft has once again pulled out the security argument for its 
| decision again and I must say that I find it rather insulting.  It’s 
| not that I think Microsoft doesn’t have a right as a private business 
| to set the terms of the EULA as they see fit, but don’t take us for f
| ools.  If they want to restrict Virtualization, just come out and 
| say it and don’t make up ridiculous excuses for it. 
| [...]
| Trying to stop a Hypervisor Rootkit with a EULA is like trying to 
| stop Malware with a EULA.


Is need for control behind Microsoft's flip-flop?

,----[ Quote ]
| Meanwhile, Gartner analyst Michael Silver took Microsoft to task 
| for its continued restrictions.
| "Microsoft's policies...come off as a way to gouge customers," Silver 
| said in an e-mail, noting that customers are forced to pay for higher 
| priced editions, even though they don't get many of the benefits, like
|  the Aero user interface, which often won't work in a virtual machine.
| Silver argues that Microsoft is likely leaving money on the table. 
| "Allowing use of lower priced (editions) could even be worth more 
| money to Microsoft as it would likely increase the number of people 
| that would legally run a Microsoft OS in a VM (like on a Mac)," 
| Silver wrote. "Eventually they will have no choice but to make their 
| peace with virtualization."


Vista Home Editions Won't Run On Mac, Linux Virtual Machines

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| That means Linux aficionados or users of Apple Macs will not legally
| be able to use software from vendors such as Parallels or EMC's VMWare
| to create so-called virtual machines on their desktops to run Vista
| alongside their favorite OS. Windows users wanting to run Vista in a
| virtual machine environment for security or productivity purposes
| also will need either the Business or Ultimate Edition.


Microsoft flip-flops on Vista virtualization

,----[ Quote ]
| Software like Parallels Desktop for the Mac or Microsoft's own Virtual 
| PC for Windows allow multiple operating systems to run simultaneously. 
| When it announced licensing rules for Vista last year, Microsoft said 
| that only Vista Business and Vista Ultimate could run as guest 
| operating systems. The company said virtualization presents inherent 
| security risks and that it hoped by limiting which versions of the OS 
| could act as virtual machines, only sophisticated users and businesses 
| would employ the tactic.

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